Wednesday, August 8, 2007

New York Cities Answer: Bribery?

This is sad. Are we giving up on our students? An article in the New York times today discusses the use of money for good test scores. Does anyone else see something wrong with this scenario?

"Should cash be used to spur children to do better on reading and math tests? Suzanne Windland, a homeowner raising three children in a placid enclave of eastern Queens, doesn’t think so. Her seventh grader, Alexandra, she said, had perfect scores last year. But she doesn’t want New York City’s Department of Education to hand her $500 in spending cash for that achievement. That’s what Alexandra would earn if her school was part of a pilot program that will reward fourth and seventh graders with $100 to $500, depending on how well they perform on 10 tests in the next year"

This teaches our students a lesson. They will associate learning and achievement with money. The chancellor of New York City Schools, Joel I. Klein, states "no one has figured out how to get more poorer children engaged in learning."

I say, let's start with asking the students what we could do to engage them. I think that you would be surprised with the responses.

Responding with extrinsic rewards is a bandaid. Will this work?

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